How reliable are kits used in field tests targeting illegal drugs?

In Drug Crimes by RSF

On behalf of Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry posted in Drug Crimes on Thursday, February 14, 2019.

Most people in Missouri and across the country likely feel safely insulated against inaccuracies in criminal law-linked test results that are simply ridiculous in their conclusions.

Here’s an example: You would hardly expect a cop to pull you over, grab a box of baking soda from a shopping bag in your trunk and adjudge it heroin, right? And you would be astonished if a prosecutor subsequently slapped you with a major drug felony charge.

Stuff like that simply doesn’t happen.

Or does it?

One Florida resident who recently had a most unsettling encounter with law enforcers can weigh in on that question.

His unequivocal response: It does happen. In fact, he was arrested for heroin possession and faced a potential prison term of 25 years until a state laboratory confirmed what he already knew.

And that was this: The small bag of white powder that a cop took from his van and confirmed as heroin after conducting a quick field test on it was hardly an illicit substance. Rather, it was laundry detergent.

The motorist was ultimately released after spending several weeks in jail. He is understandably shaken and irate following the incident.

So too are other individuals who have been similarly ensnared following false-positive drug readings delivered by cheap mobile testing kits. Several other innocent persons in addition to the aforementioned driver were in fact also arrested by the same police officer and later released from jail. The cop was ultimately fired. Scores of prior drug arrests he made are now in question.

Cops’ testing equipment is far from infallible. It can be improperly calibrated. Officers are sometimes improperly trained regarding its use. And stories sadly emerge periodically that spotlight bad-faith cops who manipulate evidence to secure arrests and convictions.

An individual with questions or concerns regarding a police interaction that leads to arrest might reasonably want to contact a proven criminal defense attorney without delay for guidance and diligent legal representation.